Skip to main content
School of Physical and Chemical Sciences

Tingting Zheng


Research Student

Room Number: Joseph Priestley Building, First floor


Project title: DNA Origami Nanoarrays for Dissection of Multivalent Cancer Cell Signalling

Supervisor: Professor Matteo Palma

Content: Cancer is one of the diseases with the highest mortality. Understanding the adhesion and survival mechanism of cancer cells will help the identification of interesting molecular targets for cancer therapy and prevention. Integrins play a critical role in cancer, which are transmembrane proteins that promoted the contact of cells or the extracellular matrix (ECM) to regulate cells’ behaviours. According to Prof. Marshall’s studies, around one-third of all solid tumours upregulate epithelial-specific integrin αvβ6, which enhances the migration, invasion, and carcinogenesis of receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) dependent breast cancer, including HER2-dependent and EGFR-promoted breast cancers. Hence, it is important to find the spatiotemporal control of these integrin/RTK-dependent biological activities at the molecular level.

The purpose of this project is to develop biomimetic nanoarrays with versatile and designable surfaces using DNA origami and nanolithography techniques. As a kind of “bottom-up” assembly technique, DNA has been shown as an ideal structural material for precise patterning, due to its programmability and outstanding chemical flexibility.  By design, DNA origami can be assembled into desirable shapes to simulate the spatial position between cell receptors and the ligands, as well as the interaction between different ligands for the dissection of multivalent cancer cell signalling. Substrates can be patterned via thermal scanning probe lithography, which will lead to the selective fabrication of biomolecular nanoarrays and achieve ECM-mimicking biochips with nanoscale spatial resolution, single-molecule control, and multivalence.



Back to top